Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Saltwater Mini

 I spent the afternoon connecting all the pieces to the table runner that matches the mini.

 I also got the mini sandwiched and ready for quilting.

 I used the bigger blocks for the ends and just used some squares for the middle of the table runner. I have a big tray that will sit in the middle of it anyway and I am really over making those fancy little blocks.

 I turned the first corner of the Dresden. I was dreading it but the edge quilting has actually been fun to do.

I know you think I am crazy but I am sad that I only have two more blocks to rip out of Daddio's Thangles quilt. It's the best thing for listening to a good book. Nothing to think about, just rip, rip, rip and then pick, pick, pick out all those loose threads. It's a mess when you're done but it's a good mess.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Oatmeal, Milk and Honey

 You might have noticed in a previous post that I use milk powders as an additives. They are easier to work with than the liquid form since you don't have to worry about the lye burning them. I make a thick slurry and strain it in at trace which is soap talk for the batter being slightly thickened.

 On the last day of soaping I had a major effort going. I not only wanted to make the Oatmeal, Milk and Honey soap but I wanted to re-do the Honeycrisp. I'll tell you all about that adventure on another post.

Of course, there was drama. Right in the middle of the measuring I discovered with horror I was out of castor oil. You can sub in other oils most of the time but this one is critical. It makes the bubbles. Out to the CVS I ran and paid a whopping $8 for this tiny 4 oz bottle. I pay $4 for a whole pound of it from the soap shop but you gotta do what you gotta do.

 This is a tried and true fragrance so from here on out everything went smoothly. Thank goodness.

 Both pours went perfectly.

 The only hitch was that I saw someone use a chopstick to make a textured top and I tried it. Now I hate it. It's too precious for me. I like a looser look.  Oh, well. It's only soap. That top will be worn down with the first use and no one will know the difference.

The next morning I cut them without an issue. They look good and they smell good so all's well.

The second pour was very interesting. Look at that. It's almost a butterfly effect which is very sought after in the soaping world. I couldn't pull that off if I tried so I'm pretty pleased.


Sunday, August 12, 2018

Palette Cleanser

Even though I've been spending a lot of time making soap this week, I've also found time to satisfy my watercolor swatching obsession. My main goal was to figure out color wheels using my Daniel Smith Essential Set. How hard could that be? It was hard. I never got one I liked. This is going to be a work in progress. I'm not giving up.

I did make the swatch for the weird little pull out paints I got a few weeks ago. It was fun. Those odd little paints are actually quite nice.

My new acquisition was a set of Daniel Smith Primoteks. They are watercolors made from minerals. They are very unusual, kind of grainy. The amethyst is actually sparkly. I like sparkles.

 My big project was to make a big color mixing chart using my Mission watercolor set. I saw someone do this on You Tube so I had to do it too. They used washi tape to mark off the colors and I have tons of skinny washi tape which worked perfectly.

 There was a lot of mixing going on and my new BIG palette came in handy. I had no idea it was so big when I ordered it but now I am glad I have it.

 My other new palette was the one on the right. It's just a flat piece of quarter inch plastic I found on a stamping site for about $4. You can't beat that. Sometimes I hate all the little wells. They are hard to clean and I like a clean palette when I play.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Witches Brew

Can you stand yet another soap post?  I always look forward to making Witches Brew so I am super excited about sharing this one.

It's the kitchen sink of soaps.

Meaning I don't hold back on additives. It's got it all.

 Color too.

 It's hard to use that many colors. You've got to pour at just the right time and mixing all those colors becomes a race to get it done before it gets too thick to pour. The first pour was great, the second. Well, you'll see. I made two loaves but I only need one so it was a risk worth taking.

For those of you who asked, here's a peek at my fragrance shelf. I use a lot of different brands including Brambleberry.

 My tops are better. I watched some videos on texturing soap tops and let the soap sit while I cleaned up the mess before I took a spoon to it.

 The next morning the first pour was just as I expected. Nothing fancy.  I don't do fancy anymore...

...unless I have the soap thicken up on me so badly that all I could do was to spoon it in the mold in layers and than take a hanger to it to make those swirls. Nice, huh? I thought I was being efficient by trying to mix the lye in both pots of oils at the same time. Of course the second one got too thick while I was working with the first. No matter. I LOVE this one!!!

Friday, August 10, 2018


 Tuesday I made the second most popular fragrance, Honeycrisp. It's an apple scent that ended up giving me a world of trouble as they always do. Everything went just fine in the beginning. The milks and butters all played nice together.

 The colors went off without a hitch. Red is tricky, so is green especially with fragrance oils with vanilla as this one is.

The first pour went beautifully. Even though this scent can rice, it didn't. I was feeling very smug.  The second pour not so much. It didn't rice but I could tell that it was on the verge.

I gave them both a dose of gold sparkle and hoped for the best.

 Uh, oh. The next day I could see that the second one is a mess. Can you see the difference?

That feathery texture is not a good thing. I can smell the difference too. It's stronger. I must have added just a drop too much fragrance in the second batch and a drop of this scent is all it takes sometimes. It will make a nice hand soap but I will remake this loaf so I'll have enough to gift. That's part of the soap deal. You win some, you lose some. It's such an exact science-frustrating at times but always fascinating.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Little Things

 Daughter went to Boston a few weeks ago and brought me back this.

 Have you ever? It's so tiny and so sweet.

 Last week she bought me this. Another little thing that is so cute. Those are pins in it. It's like a sheepy voo doo doll.

 Speaking of little things, I got the beak and comb done on Spiral Chicken yesterday. It's not much but now she has a face. Isn't she sweet?

 I am stitching these little apples on the tree of my tiny garden. This is 22 count Aida cloth and it's much smaller than I am used to. It's tedious but I've adjusted.

 Something not so little was my prize package from The Ravell'd Sleeve's Christmas in July Giveaway. I know you saw the goodies on her blog but here they are again because I am so tickled to have them.

It's all wonderful. I am not sure how anyone could part with this book but I am sure glad you did. Thanks Bridget!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Lavender Woods

 As promised, I am going to show you all the soap being made that I offered up in the Fall Surprise Giveaway. Up first is Lavender Woods. It was the most popular of all the choices so I will need two loaves.

 It's officially called Lavender Woods and Honey but I can't get that all on the label. It has honey in it and real lavender essential oil along with a little dash of the fragrance oil. It's also got goat, coconut and buttermilk in it plus a bit of yogurt. I am hoping for some creamy bars.

 It was nice only making two loaves at a time. I usually make three small ones when I am testing a lot of new fragrances.

 It's been a long time since I have used my 32 ounce molds. I had to rework my formula.

 It all seemed to work well together. No nasty surprises.

 Everything stayed nice a smooth. I have never made two of the same thing before so it's going to be fun to see how different each loaf is when I cut them.

Uh, oh. I forgot my 32 ounce mold can barely hold 32 ounces without it spilling over the top. It's not a problem. I just waited until the soap thickened and then piled it all on there and did a textured top instead of any fancy color work. I am pretty bad at it but once it's cut it's not usually that apparent. At least I hope not.

The next morning I cut into the two loaves and was more than surprised to see that they were almost identical.  That's what I like about making soap. You never know what you're going to get until you cut into it.

Don't forget-there is still time to sign up for the fall giveaway. There will be plenty extra to go around so if you were on the fence, now is the time to check out this post and place your order!